Category Archives: clear your head

Hitting the Wall

It’s funny, I remember a time when I thought that I’d eventually get to the point that I didn’t hit the wall anymore.  I thought that becoming a writer meant that I wouldn’t find myself at those points where motivation is lacking, and inspiration is dry, and I sit in front of my computer, trying desperately not to check facebook for the dozenth time, trying not to let myself get distracted.  Trying not to fall flat on my face.

But that doesn’t happen.  The bad days keep happening, the hard times keep rolling in.  The thing that is changing is me.  Not a lot.  I’m still weak willed and prone to let myself wander, but I’m becoming more familiar with my weaknesses.  I’m getting knocked down just as often, but I’m getting better at standing back up.  I think.  Maybe.

Book three is dragging a bit.  I’m well into it, I’d say two thirds to three quarters of the way through the first draft, but I’m having a hard time making myself keep at it.  It feels like it doesn’t matter.  But I’ve felt this way before.  And I know that I’ll feel this way again.

But I also know that I’ll get through it again.

Sorry, I know this isn’t a particularly interesting post, but it’s important to me.  It’s like those epic quest stories you read: the focus is on the battles and great escapes, but I think that every once in a while they should give you a glimpse of the days and weeks of slogging through rough terrain, massaging blistered feet and trying to clean yourself off with the dribble of water from a creek.


September is going to be my PeNoWriMo.  My personal novel writing month.  I’ve got a new project in mind.  I have an outline written out, I’ve done quite a bit of world building… arguably too much world building, but that’s neither here nor there.

I’m ready to go.  I’m looking at doing 70,000 words, so 2,334 words a day.

I’m excited!  I’m rearing to go!  I need to check back over all my work to make sure I’m not forgetting anything!

Wish me luck, folks.

How do you clear your head?

I love to write.  I really do.  Building, not just a story, but an entire universe, then populating it with interesting characters isn’t just my idea of a good time, it’s my obsession.

But sometimes it gets to be a burden.  There’s so much going on, so many things that you know need to happen, so many directions to pursue and loose ends you need to keep track of so you can tie them up later, it just starts to weigh you down.  When that happens, you need a way to clear your head.

When I’m dealing with a few tangled threads and just a little bit more chaos than I meant to create, I take a quick walk.  There’s a wonderful two mile loop right next to where I live.  It’s a long enough walk that I’m sure to get distracted and calm down, but not so long that I’m actually tired when I get back from it  Just far enough to get the blood flowing.

But sometimes I’ve got more than tangled threads.  Sometimes there are knots.  Sometimes the strands I’m trying to weave together have been rolled in dirt and those stickers that I can never seem to keep from growing in the yard.  Sometimes what I have isn’t just chaos, it’s anarchy.

When that happens, I play with numbers.

Specifically, primes.

Now, let’s be clear, I’m not a mathematician, either by profession, or talent.  But that’s the beautiful thing about prime numbers, you don’t need to be a mathematician to play with them.  People have been trying to sort out prime numbers for centuries… actually, millennia.  They are fascinating because they continue infinitely, but without reliable pattern… at least, not that anyone has discovered yet.  Play with them long enough, though, and you’re sure to find something that looks promising.  But pursue it at your own peril.

I’m currently pursuing a theory that involves a pyramid of numbers.  So far I’ve written the pyramid out to 1680 digits, and dammit if I don’t need to write it out a couple thousand more.

It’s tedious and frustrating and mind bending, but by the time I’m exhausted from that, the unsolvable puzzles in my latest work have usually worked themselves out.  And if they haven’t… well, they just don’t seem quite so insurmountable anymore.

What about you?  How do you clear your head?